Fact or Fiction: Digital Edition

There have been a ton of noteworthy things happening in the digital space over the last couple weeks (Mr Zuckerberg goes to Washington). While the Cambridge Analytica data sale fills headlines, it is far from the only thing happening in the digital space. It seems that as fast as the news hits, the rumors aren’t far behind. Here are three things that have had the internet buzzing recently and a breakdown of what is fact, what is fiction and what it all means for you.

Facebook is going to start charging users: FACT and FICTION

Nothing is official yet but during his testimony in front of a Senate hearing, many tech watchers noticed that Mark Zuckerberg seemed to use very intentional language about a future Facebook plan to offer a paid version of the platform. The Facebook founder answered a question from Senator Orrin Hatch by saying, “Yes, there will always be a version of Facebook that is free.” Many analysts took that to mean that a paid version is, at a minimum, in the planning stages. There have long been rumors of a paid ad-free version of the social media giant. Zuckerberg’s language seemed to reinforce that idea. Many in the digital world said this wasn’t an off-the-cuff remark as the question was one that was expected and that Zuckerberg would have prepared for. However, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says they plan to stick by their ad-based model. So this one can’t be clearly labeled as fact or fiction and is, instead, a wait and see.

Google is getting even Googlier with their search results: FACT

It is still in testing mode for some Chrome users but Google confirmed to Search Engine Land that they are going to use your past search history to suggest more search result options. So if you’ve been researching a home project, vacation or day care provider, Google will remember that (with some limitations, of course) and offer you helpful search options like these:

You will have the option to dismiss the suggestions if you’d like to start fresh or if your search parameters have changed. Look for this as a test option within the Chrome browser if you’re interested.

Instagram is finally admitting defeat in its war with Snapchat: FICTION

Another day, another Instagram feature that seems directly “borrowed” from its competitors at Snapchat. This time, the Facebook owned photo- and video-sharing platform has announced Instagram Nametags. Tech Crunch has a preview of the Snapchat-QR-code-knockoffs that will make it easier for individuals and brands to promote themselves and gain followers. Business users will even be able to take their Nametag offline for on-site usage.

Big news stories often lead to rumors and false information being spread. When that information relates directly to the biggest digital platforms – including the very social media platform where this information is often shared – the rumors can swirl even faster. That’s always a fact.

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